Monday Night Raw
Date: April 30, 2007
Location: Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We are officially done with Backlash and that means it is time to start getting ready for Judgment Day. The show is in less than three weeks so it it probably going to feature a lot of rematches/fallout from the rematch/fallout show. That might not be the best thing in the world but WWE has been on a roll as of late. Let’s get to it.
John Cena, with his title, runs into Vince McMahon, the new ECW World Champion. Vince: “What up Holmes? Peace out! The champ is here!” Cena thinks that unless ECW stands for Extremely Crazy White Guy, all he is seeing is an old guy in a durag. Shawn Michaels comes in to say Cena got lucky last night and wants one more shot. Cena is down but Vince says not so fast, because he makes the matches around here. Let’s do it one more time, but Shawn has to win a match to get a shot at Cena. Then the winner can come for the big one. Vince: “Peace out my brothers!” Cena: “Yeah he’s lost it.” He’ll see Shawn later.
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Edge slaps him in the face to start and the chase is on around the ring. Back in and Orton pokes him in the eye (denying it of course) and the circle stomp is on. A knee drop gets two and it’s time to hammer on Edge’s head. Orton chokes on the middle rope and then snaps the neck across the rope to make it worse.
We take a break and come back with Orton being sent shoulder first into the post to give Edge a breather. A spear drives Orton off the apron and into the announcers’ table for the big crash. With commentary taking a bit to come back, Edge only gets two inside. Edge’s jumping knee gets two and the chinlock goes on. That’s broken up so Edge drops him with a spinwheel kick, only to get crotched on top. Edge shoves him down but dives into a dropkick to leave them both down for a bit.
The slugout goes to Edge thanks to a thumb to the eye but Orton grabs a backbreaker for two. The powerslam gets the same so Edge snaps off the Edge-O-Matic for his own near fall. A double crossbody puts both of them down but it’s Edge up first for an attempt to take the turnbuckle pad off. The referee catches him though, allowing Orton to score with a hard clothesline. Edge counters some right hands in the corner to drop him face first onto the buckle, meaning we’ve got some blood. The Impaler gets two and, after countering an RKO, Edge spears him down for the pin.
Rating: B. These two beat each other up very well and that’s the kind of thing that is always a nice idea. It felt like a big time match and odds are this is what we were going to see last week. If they had been able to do that match before a shorter but still great Cena vs. Michaels match, it could have been an all time classic Raw. Instead, it’s a pair of awesome matches on back to back weeks.
We look at the end of Michaels vs. Cena from last week.
We look back at Bobby Lashley helping Santino Marella take the Intercontinental Title from Umaga.
Santino Marella is here for his first interview as champion, so we see him winning the title again. Santino talks about how he can’t believe this is happening. His family is very happy but his first title defense is next week.
Last night at Backlash, Rob Van Dam talked about how happy Vince McMahon must be now that he has crushed ECW. It was counterculture and all about making wrestling fun again, but now Vince is ECW World Champion. This Vince As ECW Champion thing could have been AMAZING if ECW meant anything at this point.
Vince won’t let Shane McMahon hold the ECW World Title belt because he’s too annoyed at Van Dam. Tonight, Shane needs to make sure Van Dam is destroyed once and for all. Vince also thanks Shane for his help last night, prompting Shane to say he loves Vince and hug him. Vince freaks a bit but says Shane can hold the title. As Vince leaves, Shane can’t help but start the ECW chants.
Edge is angry that Shawn Michaels is getting ANOTHER title shot when Edge didn’t lose last night. He is going to insert himself back in the title picture whether anyone likes it or not. Get it? Got it? Good.
Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro
Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch are on commentary and there are no seconds for a bit of a weird change. Hardy wastes no time with a Russian legsweep into the split legged cradle. Nitro is right back with some right hands as Cade and Murdoch are being especially respectful of Hardy. Hardy fights out of a chinlock and avoids a charge in the corner. The Whisper in the Wind drops Nitro again and a sitout gordbuster gives Hardy two. Nitro gets in a shot to the face and heads up, only to get backdropped down. The Swanton finishes for Hardy.
Rating: C. These two could have a passable match in their sleep and they had another completely acceptable one here. I’m not sure why the Hardys vs. Cade/Murdoch seems to be continuing, but it isn’t like there is anything else to do in the tag division. There are a few teams here and there, but are any of them worthy of a title program? Maybe Cryme Tyme? Anyway, were you expecting Hardy vs. Nitro to be bad?
Post match, Cade and Murdoch try to show Jeff some respect but he leaves out of caution.
We see some stills of last night’s pretty great main event.
Video on Vince McMahon winning the ECW World Title last night.
Rob Van Dam vs. Umaga
Shane McMahon handles Umaga’s introduction. We’re joined in progress with Van Dam kicking away but getting shoved off the top for the big crash into the barricade. Back in and Umaga slowly hammers away before cutting off a comeback attempt with the Samoan drop. For some reason Van Dam tries to slam Umaga, which goes as well as you would expect. The sleeper on Umaga’s back works slightly better until Van Dam gets rammed into the corner and tossed outside.
Umaga follows him outside and now the sleeper goes on again. This time Umaga rams Van Dam HARD into the steps for another break for a near countout. Back in and Umaga hits the running headbutt but misses the running hip attack in the corner. A basement dropkick and basement spinwheel kick have Shane panicking and Rolling Thunder gets two. Umaga’s running splash hits the post and there’s the Five Star but Umaga grabs the throat on the landing. Some choking sets up the Samoan Spike to put Van Dam away.
Rating: C+. It was short but hard hitting as Van Dam was a unique challenger to Umaga. That’s what you want out of something like this, though Umaga beating the top ECW star so soon might have been a little rushed. Still though, Umaga gets back on the right path in a pretty good match so it was a good use of TV time.
Vince McMahon comes out to pose, still as the best heel in the company.
Torrie Wilson and Carlito come up to Ric Flair in the back and Flair isn’t happy with Carlito for yelling at him in Spanish last week. Carlito apologizes, which is all Flair needed, but he has also gotten them a match tonight with the World’s Greatest Tag Team. If it goes badly, they can go their separate ways. Flair gives him a pep talk, but says this is his last chance. Flair leaves and Torrie asks if this is a good idea. Carlito: “RELAX!”
Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena
Non-title….and non-match as there is no Shawn. We cut to the back where Shawn is out cold.
Post break, Coach accuses John Cena of taking Shawn out, earning himself a grab by the shirt and a lift off the floor. Vince McMahon comes in to ask what is going on. Coach is going to find out what happened, but Vince wants Shawn wrestling TONIGHT. For some reason, Val Venis is there in street clothes checking on Shawn as well.
Ric Flair/Carlito vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team
Torrie Wilson is here with Flair and Carlito. Flair starts with Haas and WOO’s a bit before hiptossing Haas over. Benjamin comes in to choke Carlito on the ropes but a dropkick gives Carlito two. For some reason Carlito goes into the wrong corner and it’s Haas coming back in to stomp away. A backbreaker gives Haas two and we hit the reverse chinlock. Benjamin’s backbreaker gets two and we hit a chinlock with Benjamin’s knee in the back. Carlito fights up and gets over to Flair for the tag as everything breaks down….and Carlito knocks Flair out with a left hand. The brawl is on and we have a no contest.
Rating: C-. Another watchable match which was only there for the angle at the end. Flair isn’t doing anything important at the moment so a quick pay per view match with Carlito is a good way to go for him. The match itself was what you would expect, but Flair vs. Carlito is going to work out.
Flair and Carlito fight up the ramp, but Carlito rakes the eyes and escapes.
Now Edge has been attacked and Coach isn’t sure what to do. He wants Randy Orton though.
We recap the attacks on Michaels and Edge.
Here’s Mr. Kennedy who says he didn’t do that. You won’t find a glove that fits his hand, because he has this briefcase. Kennedy could have cashed in his briefcase at Backlash but he chose not to. How many fans would like to see him cash in his briefcase right here in Nashville, Tennessee? The fans approve of the idea but that isn’t going to happen.
Kennedy thinks it was wrong for Edge to wait until after John Cena had gone through an Elimination Chamber to cash in. He’s going to be more fair and announce when he’s cashing in. That would be in 335 days at Wrestlemania XXIV, when the new champion will be MR. KENNEDY!!! Kennedy.
Randy Orton has been attacked as well.
Coach comes in to recap the attacks to Vince McMahon, who says he knows who did it. Whoever did it did it because of John Cena, so Coach needs to send Cena to the ring to meet the man who did this.
Mickie James/Candice Michelle vs. Melina/Victoria
Candice chokes Victoria to no avail so it’s off to Melina to miss a dropkick. Mickie comes in for some hair pulling and catfighting, which is not exactly Mickie’s style. It’s back to Victoria, who knocks Mickie outside and drives her into the apron. Melina grabs the cross arm choke but Mickie fights back up with a neckbreaker. That’s enough for the hot tag to bring in Candice and everything breaks down. Mickie saves Candice from a double suplex and a rollup finishes Victoria.
Rating: D+. Candice was getting in a little offense here and there and that’s probably a sign of the next push. It’s easy to see why WWE would want to push her, though she still has a long way to go in the ring. Putting her in there with women like Mickie and Victoria will help a lot though so at least they have the right idea.
The ECW Originals don’t like Vince McMahon as ECW World Champion. Tommy Dreamer cries, because he’s Tommy Dreamer.
We recap tonight’s attacks.
Here is John Cena to say whoever is behind this could have saved themselves a lot of time and come at him face to face. He’s ready to fight…..and here’s the Great Khali, which makes Cena swallow hard. Cena charges out to start the fight on the floor and gets knocked around. They head inside with Cena’s flying shoulder having no effect, earning himself a clothesline. A big boot puts Cena down again but he fights up and manages to get him in the FU. That’s broken up with elbows to the face though and the double chokeslam plants Cena to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The wrestling started good and then went downhill as the show went on, but I liked the one night mystery to set up Cena’s next challenger. It’s the definition of a spring/early summer title program and there is nothing wrong with that. Khali running through all four members of the fatal four way in one night is a great symbolic move and now we get to move on to what could be an interesting (not necessarily in a good way) title match. Overall, another good night, which is nice to see.
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